Corporate America: Tax us please
It’s Thursday, September 17, and U.S. corporations want a price on their emissions.
The Business Roundtable, a major lobbying group, endorsed a “market-based mechanism” to price carbon on Wednesday. The Roundtable includes the leaders of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Bank of America, and other companies with a combined $7 trillion in annual revenue. They also called for the federal government to put more resources into addressing the dangers of climate change.
“Climate poses significant environmental, economic, public health, and security threats to countries around the world, including the United States,” the group wrote on its website. “It is time for a new approach.”
“New approach” is a bit of a stretch. Whether the group ends up endorsing a carbon tax or something like cap-and-trade, the broader policy of assigning a monetary cost to carbon emissions has been widely touted for well over a decade. (“2009 called and it wants its climate policy back,” one journalist joked on Twitter.)
In 2009, the House of Representatives passed a nationwide cap-and-trade proposal, but it was stymied by Senate Republicans and some of the same big companies who now endorse the concept. These days, however, many on the left have lost enthusiasm for carbon pricing and believe that mandating clean energy use is a more effective path forward.
But better late than never, perhaps? If a carbon price made it to the Senate floor today, the support of big oil companies might give it a better shot.
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